Hotel Stari Grad

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June, 2019

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The “Stari Grad”: is a small hotel, and one of only two in Jajce, a town in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. We stayed for one night on our journey between Sarajevo and Mostar. Our room 202, was on the second floor, and there was no lift, but the stairs were shallow and wide.

We had a large L-shaped living room with three-seater sofa and combined footstool, long coffee table, single bed, desk and chair and TV all in dark wood.

The bedroom had a large double bed with windows on two sides letting in lots of light. There was a trouser press/ironing board, iron and wall mounted TV.

Compared to the spacious room, the bathroom was tiny. There was a basin, loo and capsule shower cabinet which afforded little room for movement, but at least the wall-mounted hairdryer was next to the mirror and powerful. The major downside was there was no space at all for toiletries, not even a small shelf.

The town of Jajce is where a meeting in November 1943 resulted in some of the most important decisions for the construction of Yugoslavia. This included declaring the country a federal republic in which all nations were considered equal. As this meeting was attended by Tito, it was probably no surprise that the walls in the lounge were adorned with three large photos of him and above the bed, was a large framed official document. Complimentary Wi-Fi was available and there was a well-stocked mini bar, but no safe or tea and coffee making facilities.

We ate in the hotel restaurant/bar/reception area, as the guidebook said, ‘the food and service are top quality’ and under the restaurant listing it proclaimed, ‘this is the place to spice it up whilst in Jajce’. The menu had a good selection of starters, soups, salads, pasta dishes and grills. I chose a simple spaghetti bolognaise and sopska salata (cucumber, tomato and grated cheese) with Roy opting for a veal escalope, teleci odrezak sa zari which came with chips, rice and sauerkraut. This, with a generous basket of thick bread and a bottle of wine came to 50 Marks (£22). The service was excellent and very friendly. A hammam had been discovered some years ago underneath the restaurant floor, and now much of the floor is glass and I found it rather disconcerting sitting on it.

Breakfast from 7am to 10am was a simple buffet with orange juice, three types of cereal including muesli, plain yoghurt, ham, cheese and bread. Fried eggs or omelettes could be ordered, but after four days of overwhelming breakfasts at the “Ada Hotel”: in Sarajevo, we were pleased to concentrate on a more straightforward option.

The hotel has parking and is opposite a mosque, so the call to prayer can affect light sleepers.

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